"We have not seen a connection between transmission and school reopening or in-person learning,"
That was the statement Tuesday from California's top health official Dr. Mark Ghaly, while speaking during a news conference updating the state's latest efforts aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19.
While Dr. Ghaly says that conclusion could change once more data comes in, the assessment does not sit well with some people.
That includes parents who demonstrated Tuesday night outside the Desert Sands Unified School District Board Meeting, asserting it's not safe for students and staff to be back in the classroom.
Agreeing with their position is an instructor who identifies herself as a substitute teacher in the district, who shared her personal opinion and was not speaking for the district.
"My priority as an educator is the safety of children and I feel that school should really be a place where kids can feel safe," said Crystal, the instructor who asked News Channel 3 to identify her only by her first name.
News Channel 3 is aware of at least 3 schools here in the valley where in-person learning is taking place.
One of them is Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage.
Palm Valley's Head of School Dr. Steve Sherman says he is not surprised by the state health secretary's assessment.
Since staring in-person instruction August 26th, He says there are no reported cases of Covid-19 among his students, families or staff.
"It reminds us to be diligent on the protocols and procedures that we have in place and not to become complacent or comfortable," said Dr. Steven Sherman, Head of School at Palm Valley School.
At Desert Christian Academy in Palm Desert .. they too have not had a student or teacher contract Covid-19 since starting in-person learning September 3rd.
"You can educate in person the way a student needs education to be experienced and you can mitigate for this very, very challenging virus," said Kirk Scott, Assistant Principal at Desert Christian Academy.
Riverside County officials tell News Channel 3 that 31 schools elsewhere in the county have received waivers to students in-person.
Of those, 13 schools each report a single student who has tested positive for Covid-19.